MH370 Operational Search Update—
19 August 2015
This operational report has been developed to provide regular updates on the progress of the search effort for MH370. Our work will continue to be thorough and methodical, so sometimes weekly progress may seem slow. Please be assured that work is continuing and is aimed at finding MH370 as quickly as possible.
Key developments this week
- Fugro Discovery arrived in the search area on 12 August and continues to conduct search operations. The vessel's next resupply visit to port is scheduled for mid-September.
- Fugro Equator arrived back in the search area today and recommenced search operations.
- The French led investigation team examining the flaperon has concluded the first phase of inspection work. French authorities will, in consultation with Malaysia, report on progress in due course. The French investigation team is working as quickly as possible in order to provide complete and reliable information.
- It is proposed that officials from Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China will meet in Canberra in early September. Such meetings allow for information to be shared between all three countries as well as discussion of search operations. This meeting will particularly focus on planning to ensure the search is conducted as efficiently as possible, taking advantage of expected better weather with the onset of summer.
As announced in April, the search area has been expanded beyond an original 60,000 square kilometre search area to enable up to 120,000 square kilometres to be searched if required.
Search plans were revised in April to ensure that the area can be searched as quickly and effectively as possible. The Fugro vessels have undergone winterisation to enable continuous search operations over the winter and autumn months. The safety of the search crews, as always, remains a priority and vessels and equipment utilised will vary to reflect operational needs.
More than 60,000 square kilometres of the seafloor have been searched so far.
[Click map to view larger image]
The Search Strategy Working Group continues to review evidence associated with MH370 which may result in further refinement of, or prioritisation within, the search area.
In the event the aircraft is found and accessible, Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China have agreed to plans for recovery activities including securing all the evidence necessary for the accident investigation.
The weather is forecast to be generally fine for the coming week. Search operations will carry on through the winter months, but pauses are anticipated.